Also, thanks for all the hard work putting AL stuff together. There have been hiccups along the way, but in the end I got to play by DnD brains out at Gencon!
To discover that they didn't have the gigantic store of all TSR products there that I imagined. In fact, no store at all. Just corporate offices. In fact in fact, there was no hobby or gaming store in Lake Geneva. In the home of D&D, there was no place to buy D&D.
Life is tragic, and terribly hard, sometimes.
For instance if I visited the home offices of GM I wouldn't expect them to have a Hummer show room.
Hell, I can't hardly find 5e DnD stuff at my local game shops (much less their corporate offices) so Amazon is getting ALL of that business now.
But you've certainly schooled me in pointing out how silly my expectations were: finding rule books for a game on the trade floor of a convention that is essentially centered around THAT game.
I thank you for the lesson.
If that's what you wanted to take from my post, more power to your victimization. It likely won't matter if I say that wasn't my intent.
Your last statement was: Life is tragic, and terribly hard, sometimes. .
When you get to be my age you realize that what I described was neither tragic nor terribly hard in the big scheme of things....so I did read some snarkiness into that.
If it was misplaced then I apologize. Emotions, intentions, and such are sometimes hard to fathom on a public forums.
I was simply sharing something that seemed mildly relevant. I was not trying to 'school' you or 'teach you a lesson'. It did in fact seem tragic to 16 year old me, who had saved up some money and had gone on the road trip of his life (it was, I swear, maybe a whole hour and a half away) to score big on D&D and be the envy of my friends. That was a sad drive home.
But I also am sorry for the misunderstanding. Your reply seemed to be an overreaction to what I intended in my post, and clearly there is *no* reason why anyone should ever misread *my* masterfully written and perfectly clear posts on the Internet :)
I'm actually with you on the frustration of not being able to find D&D at GenCon. I don't need the big corporate machine in attendance. But game material would be nice.
Now ICV2 ran story a few days ago about HasbroCon. About how Hasbro had enought IP's material to put on a major media con. Funny they used to have their own con it was called Gen Con. Their are plenty of companies to run one for them but fandom is getting pretty burned out from all the conventions such as there is. ICV2 had some interesting takes.
If you mean games, there are hundreds of D&D games in the event catalog. There are "official" D&D game run by Baldman games and lots of independent run games.
In truth, most people wont notice a difference as WotC has not had a huge presence at Gen Con the last 4-5 years.
I was lucky enough to work for WOTC at GenCon 2010. Yes, we did have stuff to sell but the quantities were limited. We were pushing Magic on the Xbox (got to demo that all Saturday morning) and the new Orcus mini. We had a lifesize combat map with giant minis and d20s. We gave away hundreds of the Magic game on USB drives.
In short, the booth was more about getting the brand recognition over selling product. Everything that you bring to a con that you don't sell you have to pack up (or give to your wonderful volunteers). The only other thing I remember selling that year was the Magic Vault Relics set as I still have one.
Meh, Gen Con is under the law of diminishing returns. It's big, but it's a mess of general mud. Other conventions offer more actual D&D players as well as more intimate surroundings to cater to them. Gen Con is just no longer worth it for anyone not inspired by cattle calls and chaos.
That's not to say WotC doesn't also have convention issues. The last D&D Championship Open wasn't even allowed in the WotC area because they were gung-ho on promoting Fan Service 5E.
If you're a relative nobody in gaming, Gen Con is great because of the raw amount of foot traffic. If you're actually well-established, you're really just there for show.
Here's a photo from 2014.
Lol, that ruin is a good metaphor for Wizard's presence at Gencon these days. Comparing it to the old MECCA and Midwest Express Center Castles especially.
I loved doing THE VERY BRIEF (which means the line moved quickly) little encounter thing in the dealer hall a couple years ago. Made my kids' day. Okay and mine too, with rolling the huge d20. May have been more than a couple years ago actually. Whichever year you could collect the dice doing different things.
And y'know, it's true, bringing the statues and castles probably does not increase wotc's sales directly, but it certainly increases good will. I loveloveloveloveloved getting pictures with those things. LOVED. The poses you could ham! Funniest I saw was with someone else posing...they had some sort of futuristic guns trained on it, with someone in a portal outfit ready to zap it away. Good times.
Most important, the statues and castle and all gave WotC (and thus D&D) a "presence" which it no longer has.
Last year when it came to RPG promotion it seemed to be all Pathfinder all the time, whether in the ICC or the surrounding pubs. Great if you like Pathfinder...
It'll be interesting to see if WotC do anything next year regarding the 50th GenCon and all the history involved...a history which, like it or not, they are in large measure custodians of.